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I have made a simple quiche using a Martha Stewart recipe (http://www.marthastewart.com/336904/spinach-and-gruyere-quiches) several times, sometimes altering the filling to include variously bacon, ham, mushrooms, cheddar, and today, tomato slices with basil leaves.

I typically half the amount of filling and make only one quiche. Usually, this comes out quite well (although sometimes a bit overly fluffy like a souffle) and makes for a quick supper. I use prepared pastry (usually Pillsbury) and it typically comes out well-cooked and not soggy, despite not blind-baking the crust which is apparently something I should be doing based on this question: Why is my quiche soggy?.

Until today, the only time I had a problem was when I used spinach without pressing out some of the moisture, and then the quiche filling and crust were both soggy.

Today, I added sliced plum tomato on the top of the quiche before cooking, but found I had to cook the quiche for an additional 10 minutes and still had a somewhat overly gooey filling (but the crust was basically fine).

Unlike spinach, it seems silly to squeeze out tomato slices so that they don't add additional moisture to the quiche. Is there a strategy to avoid this problem?

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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You may wish to seed the tomatoes, removing the gelatinous part containing the seeds, which is mostly water, and very little flavor. You want to use only the meaty, fleshy part of the tomato in a quiche.

Depending on the size of your tomatoes, scooping the seeds out with a melon scoop, cutting out the seed sections, or simply squeezing out the seeds will help. The Shiksa in the Kitchen has a very nice article with very clear pictures showing these three different methods of seeding tomatoes.

This will substantially reduce the amount of moisture the tomatoes are adding to your quiche.

Another method you may choose to use, if you have the time, is to roast your tomatoes before using them in the quiche (which may also involve seeding them first). This will reduce the moisture and concentrate the flavor.

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The common belief that tomato seeds do not hold much flavour is incorrect. Here is an extract from an article published by the Royal Society of Chemistry: 'It is really interesting from a chef's standpoint. You really want to think very carefully before you start chucking out the centre [of the tomato] because that's one of the most flavourful parts of it.' The article can be found here: rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2006/May/05050601.asp. Roasting the tomatoes is a good idea though, but you should always keep the seeds. –  Henrik Söderlund May 29 '13 at 12:40
    
This article with no serious references does not constitute much evidence. It doesn't even indicate of the seeds have to be pureed or opened. It doesn't discuss the absolute "umami" levels of the various parts of the tomato, in comparison, to say, cheese. The question was about moisture primarily, and since there is no weight of credible evidence that the pulpy centers are important for flavor, and certainly not that they are important for umami type flavor in comparison to other sources--even if the research is in some way true, texture is key for this question, I stand by my answer. –  SAJ14SAJ May 29 '13 at 12:48
    
No serious references? The article is about a scientific study performed at the University of Reading, UK. The study can be found here but you have to pay to read the whole study: pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf070791p?journalCode=jafcau. Aside from that I would also consider Heston Blumenthal himself a serious reference. The Fat Duck has three michelin stars. But I agree with you that the original question is about texture. In that context your answer is correct. It is only the part of your answer where you state that the seeds do not contain much flavour that I disagree with. –  Henrik Söderlund May 29 '13 at 14:10
    
It was in a science journal/magazine, but in the popular section, with no references and little depth of detail. I recognize who Blumenthal is, but that doesn't mean his taste perceptions translate to the average cook or average taster. Still, hundreds of years of removing the seeds cannot be completely wrong, even if there are contexts where it is not optimal. –  SAJ14SAJ May 29 '13 at 14:57
    
Even the abstract in the DOI you provided is far more substantive than the popular piece. I note that it talks only about glutimates and not other flavors, although it implies that they are in the pulp and not the seeds. That is interesting ,as it suggests that, for example, running through a seive and reducing would make a glutimate concentrate. Absolute levels are mentioned, but I would have to compare to other sources to see what that means in terms of practical recipes... –  SAJ14SAJ May 29 '13 at 14:59
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You never can tell how much water a tomato will give off, it depends on the variety, how much water it had when it was grown, how thick you slice it, etc. You're best off hedging your bets by following @saj14saj's advice, and roasting your tomatoes beforehand.

You could also part dry them in the oven over a longer period, for instance while you are at work. I'd do this with any vegetables or mushrooms that I'd want to use in a quiche as it will reduce the water content and prevent runniness.

Alternatively you could add some chopped up sun dried tomatoes, they are packed with flavor, and they actually absorb water when in the oven. They are a good choice to offset non-dried vegetables.

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if i use tomatoes in a quiche i tend to slice them and put them on top - maybe half way through the bake if they are a bit juicy. They dry out in the direct heat and add a lot more roasted tomato flavour rather than an inspipid wetness. I've also found spinach can easily make your dough soggy - aside from wilting them and then squeezing them dry - you may need more egg to make it set well.

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